Archive for Peterson Reference Guide to Sparrows

Sep
17

Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia

Posted by: | Comments Comments Off on Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia

Original descriptionFringilla melodia Wilson 1810

Taxonomic history at Avibase

Taxonomic history in AOU/AOS Check-list

AOU 1 (1886): Song Sparrow, Melospiza fasciata [fasciata]; Desert Song Sparrow, Melospiza fasciata fallax; Mountain Song Sparrow, Melospiza fasciata montana; Heermann’s Song Sparrow, Melospiza fasciata heermanni; Samuels’s Song Sparrow, Melospiza fasciata samuelis; Rusty Song Sparrow, Melospiza fasciata guttata; Sooty Song Sparrow, Melospiza fasciata rufina; Aleutian Song Sparrow, Melospiza cinerea

AOU 2 (1895): Song Sparrow, Melospiza fasciata [fasciata]; Desert Song Sparrow, Melospiza fasciata fallax; Mountain Song Sparrow, Melospiza fasciata montana; Heermann’s Song Sparrow, Melospiza fasciata heermanni; Samuels’s Song Sparrow, Melospiza fasciata samuelis; Rusty Song Sparrow, Melospiza fasciata guttata; Sooty Song Sparrow, Melospiza fasciata rufina; Brown’s Song Sparrow, Melospiza fasciata rivularis; Santa Barbara Song Sparrow, Melospiza fasciata graminea; San Clemente Song Sparrow, Melospiza fasciata clementae; Bischoff’s Song Sparrow, Melospiza insignis; Aleutian Song Sparrow, Melospiza cinerea

AOU 3 (1910): Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia melodia; Desert Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia fallax; Mountain Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia montana; Heermann’s Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia heermanni; Samuels’s Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia samuelis; Rusty Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia morphna; Sooty Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia rufina; Brown’s Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia rivularis; Santa Barbara Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia graminea; San Clemente Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia clementae; Dakota Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia juddi; Merrill’s Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia merrilli; Alameda Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia pusillula; San Diego Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia cooperi; Yakutat Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia caurina; Kenai Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia kenaiensis; Mendocino Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia cleonensis; Bischoff’s Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia insignis; Aleutian Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia sanaka; Suisun Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia maxillaris

AOU 4 (1931): Eastern Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia melodia; Atlantic Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia atlantica; Mississippi Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia beata; Dakota Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia juddi; Mountain Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia fallax; Modoc Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia fisherella; Merrill’s Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia merrilli; Kenai Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia kenaiensis; Yakutat Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia caurina; Sooty Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia rufina; Rusty Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia morphna; Mendocino Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia cleonensis; Samuels’s Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia samuelis; Suisun Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia maxillaris; Modesto Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia mailliardi; Alameda Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia pusillula; Heermann’s Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia heermanni; San Diego Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia cooperi; Santa Barbara Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia graminea; San Clemente Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia clementae; Coronados Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia coronatorum; Desert Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia saltonis; Brown’s Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia rivularis

AOU 5 (1957): Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia: Melospiza melodia melodia, Melospiza melodia atlantica, Melospiza melodia euphonia, Melospiza melodia juddi, Melospiza melodia montana, Melospiza melodia inexpectata, Melospiza melodia merrilli, Melospiza melodia fisherella, Melospiza melodia maxima, Melospiza melodia sanaka, Melospiza melodia amaka, Melospiza melodia insignis, Melospiza melodia kenaiensis, Melospiza melodia caurina, Melospiza melodia rufina, Melospiza melodia morphna, Melospiza melodia cleonensis, Melospiza melodia gouldii, Melospiza melodia maxillaris, Melospiza melodia samuelis, Melospiza melodia pusillula, Melospiza melodia mailliardi, Melospiza melodia heermanni, Melospiza melodia cooperi, Melospiza melodia micronyx, Melospiza melodia clementae, Melospiza melodia graminea, Melospiza melodia coronatorum, Melospiza melodia fallax, Melospiza melodia saltonis, Melospiza melodia rivularis

AOU 6 (1983): Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia

AOU 7 (1998): Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia

IUCN Conservation Status: Of least concern

Detailed description and measurements drawn from standard reference works

Adult, subspecies melodia: Brown to faintly reddish brown tail feathers, the central pair with a dark shaft streak and, occasionally faint narrow bars; outer web of outermost rectrices paler brownish gray but never white. Rump and upper tail coverts gray-brown with blackish or brown streaking. Mantle and scapular feathers brown with black centers, lining up into streaks. Primaries and secondaries dull gray brown with paler edges, tertials black with broad brown edges and grayish tips. Greater coverts brown with large blackish teardrops and inconspicuously paler tips. Median coverts brown with dark brown centers and inconspicuous dull gray tips. Marginal coverts of under wing white. Nape brown-gray with variable brown streaking. Underparts white to off-white; faint buffy or gray wash on flanks. The wide jaw stripe and throat are dull buffy white, separated by a strikingly broad wedge-shaped or even triangular black lateral throat stripe; the throat is flecked dark. Breast, sides of breast, and flanks with wide black streaks, the feathers edged in fresh plumage with rust. Under tail coverts and vent buff-white with brown streaks. Brown crown with narrow black streaks and black-streaked gray median crown stripe. Long, broad supercilium pale tan-gray, paler on the lore. Olive-gray ear coverts surrounded by narrow brown eye line and whisker. Bill dark above, paler pinkish brown below; tarsi and toes dull brown.

Juvenile, subspecies melodia: Buffier and less neatly marked above, the crown less regularly streaked than in adults. Creamy white to buffy underparts with narrower, messier streaking.

Length 146-150 mm (5.7-5.9 in)

Wing chord 65-67 mm (2.6 in)

Tail 64-67 mm (2.5-2.6 in)

W:T 1.04

Adult, subspecies rufina: Tail feathers dusky brown, the central pair with obscurely darker shaft streaks. Rump and upper tail coverts dark dull rusty brown. Mantle and scapular feathers dark ashy brown with sooty streaks and very indistinct dark shaft streaks. Primaries and secondaries dull dark brown, outer webs of tertials brighter rust. Greater coverts chestnut with large blackish teardrops. Median coverts dusky brown with dark brown centers. Marginal coverts of under wing white. Nape dark brown-gray with dusky streaking. Underparts dull gray; faint olive cast to flanks. The wide jaw stripe and throat are dull grayish white, separated by a broad wedge-shaped or even triangular sooty brown lateral throat stripe; throat flecked dark. Breast, sides of breast, and flanks with molasses brown streaks, the feathers usually without darker shaft streaks. Under tail coverts and vent grayish white with brown streaks. Sooty brown crown with narrow black streaks and only a poorly defined median crown stripe. Brown-gray ear coverts surrounded by narrow dark brown eye line and whisker. Bill dark above, paler brown below; tarsi and toes dull brown.

Juvenile, subspecies rufina: Less neatly marked above, the crown less regularly streaked than in adults. Buffier underparts with slightly narrower, messier streaking.

Length 145-160 mm (5.7-6.3 in)

Wing chord 67-72 mm (2.6-2.8 in)

Tail 64-70 mm (2.5-2.8 in)

W:T 1.03

Adult, subspecies cinerea: 

Length 181-188 mm (7.1-7.4 in)

Wing chord 81-85 mm (31.-3.3 in)

Tail 78-83 mm (3.0-3.3 in)

W:T 1.02

Adult, subspecies morphna: Tail feathers dark ruddy brown, the central pair with darker shaft streaks. Rump and upper tail coverts deep rusty brown. Mantle and scapular feathers rusty olive with rusty streaks and indistinct black shaft streaks. Primaries and secondaries dark brown, outer webs of tertials rusty. Greater coverts dark rust with large blackish teardrops. Median coverts dark rust with dark brown centers. Marginal coverts of under wing white. Nape dark rusty with dusky streaking. Underparts olive-gray. The wide jaw stripe and throat are yellowish gray, separated by a broad brown lateral throat stripe. Breast, sides of breast, and flanks with chestnut streaks, the feathers usually without darker shaft streaks. Under tail coverts and vent dull gray-white with brown streaks. Dark rusty crown with narrow black streaks and variably conspicuous gray median crown stripe. Rust-brown ear coverts surrounded by narrow dark chestnut eye line and whisker. Bill dark above, paler brown below; tarsi and toes dull brown.

Juvenile, subspecies morphna: Less deep rusty and less neatly marked above, with blackish mantle streaking. Slightly whiter, buff-washed underparts with less well-organized and less vividly brown streaking.

Length 150-153 mm (5.9-6.0 in)

Wing chord 65-68 mm (2.6-2.7 in)

Tail 63-66 mm (2.5-2.6 in)

W:T 1.03

Adult, subspecies fallax: Tail feathers pale rusty brown, the central pair with darker shaft streaks. Rump and upper tail coverts pale rusty brown. Mantle and scapular feathers pale brown-gray with reddish-brown streaks and no or very inconspicuous black shaft streaks. Primaries and secondaries brown, outer webs of tertials rustier. Greater coverts pale rust with mid-sized blackish teardrops. Median coverts pale rust with darker centers. Marginal coverts of under wing white. Nape gray-brown with dusky streaking. Underparts white. The wide jaw stripe and throat are white, separated by a narrow, sometimes incomplete chestnut lateral throat stripe; throat flecked brown. Breast, sides of breast, and flanks with fairly sparse rusty streaks, the feathers usually without darker shaft streaks. Under tail coverts and vent white with sparse rusty streaks. Pale rusty crown with narrow brown streaks and variably conspicuous whitish median crown stripe. Pale rusty ear coverts surrounded by narrow, slightly darker eye line and whisker. Bill dark above, paler brown below; tarsi and toes dull brown.

Juvenile, subspecies fallax: Less rusty and less neatly marked above, with brown streaking on buffy-brown mantle. Buff-washed underparts with sparse pale-brown streaking.

Length 140-146 mm (5.5-5.7 in)

Wing chord 64-67 mm (2.5-2.6 in)

Tail 66-69 mm (2.6-2.7 in)

W:T 0.97

Adult, subspecies cleonensis: Tail feathers rusty olive, the central pair with darker shaft streaks. Rump and upper tail coverts deep rusty olive. Mantle and scapular feathers dark olive-brown with dark chestnut and brown streaks and black shaft streaks. Primaries and secondaries brown, outer webs of tertials rustier. Greater coverts brown with mid-sized blackish teardrops. Median coverts olive-brown with darker centers. Marginal coverts of under wing white. Nape gray-brown with dusky streaking. Underparts with strong yellow-olive wash. The wide jaw stripe and throat are olive-white, separated by a broad black lateral throat stripe. Breast, sides of breast, and flanks with heavy dark chestnut streaks, the feathers with darker shaft streaks. Under tail coverts and vent yellow-oilve with sparse streaks. Dull rusty crown with narrow black streaks and variably conspicuous gray-olive median crown stripe. Brown ear coverts surrounded by narrow, black eye line and whisker. Bill dark above, paler brown below; tarsi and toes dull brown.

Juvenile, subspecies cleonensis: Less neatly marked above, with brown streaking on buffy-olive mantle. Yellow-washed underparts with sparse  darkbrown streaking.

Length 137-138 mm (5.4 in)

Wing chord 59-62 mm (2.3-2.4 in)

Tail 58-60 mm (2.3-2.4 in)

W:T 1.03

Share
Comments Comments Off on Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia
Sep
17

Striped Sparrow, Oriturus superciliosus

Posted by: | Comments Comments Off on Striped Sparrow, Oriturus superciliosus

Image result for striped sparrow biologia centrali-americana

Original descriptionAimophila superciliosa Swainson 1838

Taxonomic history at Avibase

Taxonomic history in AOU/AOS Check-list

AOU 6 (1983): Striped Sparrow, Oriturus superciliosus

AOU 7 (1998): Striped Sparrow, Oriturus superciliosus

IUCN Conservation Status: Of least concern

Detailed description and measurements drawn from standard reference works

Adult, subspecies superciliosus: Blackish tail feathers edged and faintly tipped with light brown-gray, most clearly on the outer pair. Central tail feathers more extensively olive or olive-brown, the black reduced to a broad shaft streak and coarse jagged barring. Rump and upper tail coverts blackish brown with contrasting silvery gray edges. Mantle and scapular feathers rusty with broad but well-defined black shaft streaks, pale edgings creating scaled appearance. Primaries dull gray with paler gray edges, secondaries rusty, tertials black with broad brown edges and off-white tips. Greater coverts rusty with blackish inner vane and inconspicuous dull white edges and tips, creating faint wing bar. Median coverts largely black with inconspicuous dull white tips, creating very faint wing bar. Nape pale gray with fine black streaking. Underparts dull gray-white to off-white, whitest on belly; faint buffy wash on flanks. Under tail coverts, vent, and flanks with fine dusky streaks of variable extent. Chestnut, black-streaked crown with paler black-streaked median stripe. Long, broad supercilium off-white, buffier on supraloral. Lore, long eye line, area immediately beneath the eye, and ear coverts black, the last finely streaked white; fine white crescent below eye. Large bill black, tarsi and toes pale dull pink.

Adult, subspecies palliatus: Paler overall, with more reddish upperparts. Central tail feathers gray, the black reduced to a broad shaft streak and coarse jagged barring.

Juvenile: Underparts buffier; lower throat, upper breast, and sides of breast narrowly streaked dusky.

Length 155-162 mm (6.1-6.4 in)

Wing chord 76-79 mm (3.0-3.1 in)

Tail 67-70 mm (2.6-2.8 in)

W:T 1.13

Mass 37-41 g

Share
Comments Comments Off on Striped Sparrow, Oriturus superciliosus
Apr
07

Vancouver Day Five: Steveston – Richmond Nature Park – Jericho Beach

Posted by: | Comments Comments Off on Vancouver Day Five: Steveston – Richmond Nature Park – Jericho Beach

harbor seal

Perfect weather for harbor seals today here in Vancouver. For us, the rain was a welcome excuse for a late start — it was 9:30 by the time I picked Soheil up.

We started in Steveston, where mew gulls streamed over on their way, I suppose, to feast on earthworms in the wet fields. There was a small selection of ducks on the river, including red-breasted mergansers, and we enjoyed lingering close views of glaucous-winged and Olympic gulls loafing in the drizzle.

Olympic gull glaucous-winged

Soon it was too damp for us, so we headed to a place I’d never visited, Richmond Nature Park.

Richmond Nature Park in the rain

fox sparrow

We found comfortably dry seats beneath one of the picnic shelters, and watched as rufous and Anna hummingbirds darted between rain drops and fox and song sparrows scratched up the seed knocked from the feeders by the spotted towhees and purple finches.

purple finch

Among the many Oregon juncos was an especially pretty bird with symmetrical facial crescents, as if it were wearing a Prevost ground sparrow mask.

Oregon junco

To our surprise, at one point the sun came out, and the birds celebrated — with a bath, of course.

fox sparrow

sooty fox sparrow, Richmond, BC

We took advantage of the sudden change in the weather for a quick walk in what looks like a very birdy area indeed, then hopped back into the car for the drive to Jericho Beach.

20180407_142425

Just a short walk from our apartment in Kitsilano, Jericho was my neighborhood “patch” when we lived in Vancouver, and I was excited to see it again — even if the rain did set in again just as we arrived (and even if they still seem to have done nothing, absolutely nothing, about the off-leash dog problem).

20180407_142429

Though it wasn’t overly birdy, it was great to be walking a portion of my familiar route, watching pelagic cormorants and common goldeneye in the water of English Bay and bushtits in the blossoming trees. We were surprised to see only American wigeon on a first scan of the small flock, but eventually we found a single Eurasian wigeon on the edge of the pond; I remember excitedly reporting one here on our very first day in Vancouver, only to learn with some dispatch that the species is more common in this area than just about anywhere else in North America.

The rain grew steadier.

20180407_150030

Of all the places to seek shelter in the city, the UBC Museum of Anthropology may still be my favorite.

20180407_150936

There is vastly too much to look at in a single visit, and I long ago gave up trying, adopting the strategy instead of just looking at one object or two in the knowledge that I’ll be back. After all, it had been only seven years between this visit and the one before….

20180407_153020

Yes, tempus fugit, and this week fugit faster than most.

Birds

Canada Goose, Wood Duck, American Wigeon, Eurasian Wigeon, Gadwall, Mallard, Green-winged Teal, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, Red-breasted Merganser

elagic Cormorant, Double-crested Cormorant

Common Loon

 

Great Blue Heron

Northern Harrier, Cooper Hawk, Bald Eagle

 

Mew Gull, Glaucous-winged Gull

Rock Pigeon, Eurasian Collared-Dove, Mourning Dove

Anna’s Hummingbird, Rufous Hummingbird

Downy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker

Peregrine Falcon

Northwestern Crow, Common Raven

Violet-green Swallow, Purple Martin

Black-capped Chickadee

Bushtit

Pacific Wren, Bewick Wren

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

American Robin

European Starling

 

Oregon Towhee, Song Sparrow, Sooty Fox Sparrow, Oregon Junco, White-crowned Sparrow

Western Meadowlark, Red-winged Blackbird

House Finch, Purple Finch

Mammals

Eastern Gray Squirrel

European Rabbit

Harbor Seal

Share
Comments Comments Off on Vancouver Day Five: Steveston – Richmond Nature Park – Jericho Beach
Apr
03

Vancouver Day One: Steveston – Iona – Reifel Refuge

Posted by: | Comments Comments Off on Vancouver Day One: Steveston – Iona – Reifel Refuge

DSC04607

What a blast! I picked Soheil up at his lodgings in Richmond a bit after 7:00 this morning, taking the time to enjoy northwestern crows on the way down; I’d expected rain, but there was just the barest hint of a sprinkle on my early morning drive, and though the chill never lifted, all day long we stayed dry — and even saw some sunshine by the time we enjoyed an early supper this evening under the watchful eyes of Ladner’s bald eagles.

I’d heard that white-winged crossbills were to be found in Steveston, so we zipped down there to start our morning’s birding. We stepped out of the car to the songs of Puget Sound white-crowned sparrows (yea) and Eurasian collared-doves (less yea), but after a few minutes of hearing and seeing nothing loxiac, walked the few feet down to the river. Glaucous-winged and mew gulls loafed on logs in the water, while several bald eagles kept the ducks busy; one of the eagles missed all the fun, assigned instead to incubating or brooding the contents of one of the huge riverside nests. A big, big-nosed pinniped moving through the water was probably a California sea lion.

rufous hummingbird

The lawn of the condo complex behind us was hopping, too. A suet feeder proved irresistible to a couple of pairs of bushtits, and the first of the day’s half dozen rufous hummingbirds was here, too — all but one of them were males, a couple of them in vigorous “shuttling” display.

varied thrush

The manicured bluegrass itself provided the feeding ground for a fine varied thrush, which eventually gave up being admired and flew up into the bare tree above our heads, where he sang several times that eeriest of Pacific northwest bird songs.

20180403_115708

The sparrow flock was shyer, but we had great looks at Lincoln, song, sooty foxgolden-crowned, and Puget Sound white-crowned sparrows, all popping out onto the grass to feed for a moment or two before taking refuge again in the hedge.

song sparrow morphna

Wonderful to be back in a place where golden-crowned is the most abundant passerellid, the song sparrows are red, and the fox sparrows are plain-headed.

20180403_162917

The biggest surprise was a flock of 34 swans that flew overhead, not trumpeting but whistling as they passed. I was too startled to make entirely certain that all of the birds were tundra swans or if perhaps there were just a few vocal birds of that species joining up with the much more expected trumpeters; tundras are rarish birds here, and we were lucky to be in the right place at the right time. We would not see any trumpeter swans until the last stop of our day, when we found sixty or seventy loafing off Westham Island.

I could have spent the rest of the week there, and we will certainly drop back by at some point to have another listen for the crossbills, but there are even birdier, even more scenic sites around Vancouver than condominium parking lots.

Iona

With an eye on the tide tables, we dashed north to Iona, where spotted towhees, another rufous hummingbird, and a few hundred noisy snow geese greeted us. The ponds were full of water and full of ducks: pinwheeling northern shovelers, elegant northern pintail and ring-necked ducks, and busily feeding lesser scaup by the hundreds.

northern pintail

Sparrows of what were now the expected species fed on the roads, and flyovers included my first violet-green swallows of the year and a surprise western meadowlark.

If the meadowlark was a surprise, the American minks were a shock.

American mink

Soheil saw the first one while I was busy with song sparrows; a few minutes later we saw it or another, and a few minutes later three more or less together on the path. As we watched, one of them dropped into the water and re-emerged with a dead, probably long-dead, duck, holding it tight in its teeth as it dragged it backwards across the trail, only to lose its prize when an adult bald eagle dropped out of nowhere to steal the corpse and send the mink, lucky not to have been the eagle’s second course, scampering into the next pond.

We walked out and around the “outer” pond, where marsh wrens and red-winged blackbirds were busy staking out their territories and a nice flock of tree and violet-green swallows skimmed and drank in front of us.

Iona outer pond

We’d planned to head out the jetty, too, but the rapidly ebbing tide and the cold breeze off the Salish Sea convinced us that there probably weren’t many birds out there anyway. So how about Reifel?

DSC04502

The place was insane, as always, with the pushy half-tame mallards joined by ducks of several other species, sparrows, and blackbirds in the rush for birdseed.

DSC04596

We braved our way through the madding crowd, pausing to admire a rare black-crowned night-heron at its sullen roost, and headed out to the foreshore. Another flock of snow geese did its best to deafen us, watched closely by as many as fifty-five bald eagles perched out on the tidal flat.

Oregon junco

The real show at Reifel this afternoon, though, was the northern harriers. We’d seen scattered birds all day here and there, but as afternoon ceded to early evening, the big cattail marshes gave up their store of long-winged hawks; eventually we were watching at least five, including two beautiful silver males. It made us wonder how many owls were waiting on the ground out there for the sun to set.

We wouldn’t find out: Reifel has an early curfew, and I was cold and hungry. We stopped in Ladner for supper, fish and chips while we watched eagles fly up and down the water out our window. In the sunshine. Tomorrow is going to be a great day!

Birds

Snow Goose, Canada Goose, Trumpeter Swan, Tundra Swan, Wood Duck, Gadwall, American Wigeon, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Ring-necked Duck, Lesser Scaup, Greater Scaup, Bufflehead, Hooded Merganser, Common Merganser

Double-crested Cormorant

Great Blue Heron, Black-crowned Night-Heron

Northern Harrier, Bald Eagle, Red-tailed Hawk

Virginia Rail, American Coot

Killdeer

Wilson’s Snipe

Mew Gull, Glaucous-winged Gull

Rock Pigeon, Eurasian Collared-Dove

Rufous Hummingbird

Northern Flicker

Northwestern Crow

Violet-green Swallow, Tree Swallow

Black-capped Chickadee

Bushtit

Marsh Wren

American Robin

Varied Thrush

European Starling

Cedar Waxwing

Oregon Towhee, Sooty Fox Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Lincoln’s Sparrow, Puget Sound Sparrow, Gambel’s Sparrow, Golden-crowned Sparrow, Oregon Junco

Red-winged Blackbird, Western Meadowlark, Brewer’s Blackbird

House Finch, American Goldfinch

House Sparrow

Mammals

American Mink

Eastern Gray Squirrel

California Sea Lion

 

Share
Comments Comments Off on Vancouver Day One: Steveston – Iona – Reifel Refuge
Mar
24

Other People’s Bird Books: A New Jersey Family

Posted by: | Comments Comments Off on Other People’s Bird Books: A New Jersey Family

This is Montclair State University’s copy of John Francis McDermott‘s edition of the 1843 journal of Edward Harris, friend, patron, and frequent field companion of John James Audubon.

Eleanor Darrach Sappington to D. d'Arcy Northwood

Like most of that library’s general natural history titles from mid-century, this book was a gift from J. D’Arcy and Anne Ardrey Northwood, familiar names indeed in Pennsylvania and New Jersey birding circles: D’Arcy was the first curator of Mill Grove, and the couple’s “ramshackle cottage” at Cape May would eventually become New Jersey Audubon’s Northwood Center.

But this particular volume has another layer of provenance, attested by the inscription to D’Arcy Northwood from Eleanor Darrach Sippington. Good old Google helped me pin her down as one of the six children of Susannah Ustick Harris and Alfred Darrach; Susannah Harris was one of the four children of Edward Harris and his second wife (and first cousin), Mary G. Ustick.

What made my smile especially broad on reading the inscription was the fact that I had the pleasure of dinner with another of Harris’s descendants a couple of years ago in the Bahamas. She is certainly too young to have known her cousin Eleanor, but the connection shows once again just how small the world of birding can be, not just in space but over time.

 

 

 

Share
Comments Comments Off on Other People’s Bird Books: A New Jersey Family

 Subscribe in a reader

Nature Blog Network